A little-known- but not difficult to believe- fact about me is that I love theater productions. Growing up, my parents took us to broadway-style productions like “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Texas,” and “Hello, Dolly” at the Moody Outdoor Theater in Galveston. And I loved it!
So, in junior high, I took drama. I learned how to do stage makeup… how to not upstage someone… the difference between stage right and stage left. I even starred in “Death of a Salesman” in our eighth grade production.
My love for stage production never waned. In high school, I portrayed the candidate for my opposing political viewpoint in a mock debate for our schoolwide mock election. In college, I found joy in running lights and handling props. And I’ve also enjoyed my fair share of parts in Easter or Christmas productions at churches where I’ve attended.
Those who know me know that my happy place… the place where I often feel most comfortable and in my sweet spot… is on the stage, in the spotlight. But life is not made up of only “on-stage” moments. There are times when we must be “off-stage.”
In all the drama stuff I have done over the years, I recall that being off-stage required work as well as on-stage moments. It takes quiet focus… staying connected with what was happening on-stage, all the while changing costumes, grabbing props for myself or others, etc. in order to be ready for the next scene in which I would be involved on-stage. Just because people can’t see that you are doing something at the moment doesn’t mean that you aren’t.
King Solomon revealed in the book of Ecclesiastes a truth which the Beattles would thousands of years later make popular… “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under Heaven.” That means there are on-stage moments as well as off-stage moments in our lives.
What we need to realize is that, just because we might not be on the stage right now in our life’s production, does not mean we are not still part of the cast. In the meantime, wait patiently in the shadows off-stage and prepare for what is next. Know that what you are doing off-stage may not be seen at the moment, but people will be able to tell that you have been actively engaged when you enter the lighted stage once more.
Your next scene is coming up! The director is going to call your name and tell you to get ready to go on. You will once again be in the spotlight where people can see your participation. Serve quietly now and you will shine brightly later.